- 09 Feb - 15 Feb, 2019
"It ain't over till it's over!"
- 01 Dec - 07 Dec, 2018
He got up and slammed the door behind him loudly. I sat there in absolute silence. I didn’t even know why I was fighting with him on this. He was absolutely right. Fawad wanted me to resign. He wanted me to stay at home and look after myself till I give birth to our baby.
This wasn’t the time to argue. This was definitely not the time to overthink. The school would find a replacement and they would understand the reason of my resignation. It wasn’t so long ago that I lost Noor and God decided to bless me so soon. Being stubborn was exasperating an already sensitive situation. I couldn’t even understand my behaviour. Was I scared of the hours alone with my thoughts? Keeping myself busy was always a blessing for me. My mind couldn’t handle my demons inside, my negativity or my inner voices and I was afraid I would become depressed. That was unhealthy for me and my child.
However, given the crazy schedule at workplace mean that most days I would be exhausted and over worked. That was a death sentence for my baby that was so fragile and who I had to guard with everything I had. I needed this child more than it needed me. Fawad accused me of planning to kill my unborn child. He said some terrible things. He yelled at me uncontrollably. He told me that I was negligent the last time too and this time around I was being childish, immature and stupid and I probably didn’t want a child at all because it would get in the way of my freedom.
All this hurt very much. What had taken over him? Was he hurting so badly that he couldn’t? Was he in so much pain and he was ready to lash out at me like this, on the woman he claimed he loved so much? Where did all that love go?
This was a side of Fawad that I had never seen before. I actually became scared of him. At one point I felt he might even hit me.
Once he was gone I sat alone with tears in my eyes and through the haze I began to access the situation.
For the first time, I fully understood the magnitude of his pain. How long had he been harbouring such negative thoughts about me, I shuddered to think. Was it so terrible not being a father? Did he have to withstand taunts and insults from his peers?
He had been so happy. On that fateful day, the doctor gave me the regular list of dos and don’ts and all the vitamins etc that I would have to take. Fawad and I returned home excited and shared the news with our family.
Once we finally got to bed he brought up the subject quite unexpectedly. “You can resign tomorrow. Email your principal, I’m sure she’ll understand that you can’t continue.”
With that matter of fact manner he fell asleep. No discussion, no interaction, just an order. I didn’t think I should argue and went to sleep. I was too tired to face any scenario.
During breakfast I brought it up gently. I wanted him to reconsider. I could teach till mid-terms and then discontinue. I thought it was a reasonable enough plan. But Fawad went ballistic. He stopped mid-way with the meal and just started to rant. He became louder and more intense and said all those hurtful things and then stormed out slamming the door behind him. I was left with the shrapnel in my face and reasonably shook up. I was in a complete state of shock.
Our marriage was based on mutual trust and respect and we always reached a decision with mutual understanding. This time around I felt like I was stuck in some sordid movie scene, typically Asian where the man has the last word and the woman only has one answer; “Yes, yes master, yes my hubby, yes. I don’t have a mind of my own; I don’t know what’s best for me. You are my man; previously it was my father and my brother and now it’s you. I will obey you because you are right.”
The irony was that he was right. But all that anger. Did I even know this man at all?
“Killers are not born but created. The best of us will lose it if pushed to the limit.”
Oh come on Saima! Overly dramatic as usual. Fawad was not a killer. He was just under a lot of stress and besides invalidating my feeling towards my unborn child he wasn’t wrong about asking me to rest and take care of myself for the sake of this child. He had as much right over its well-being as I did.
And he was desperate.
A small voice thought that maybe this was the way battered women would excuse their husband’s behaviour and find ways of rationalising the attacks. I quickly shrugged off that thought. Fawad loved me. He did. And I was being unreasonable to his feelings and intentions.
At that moment the door to my room opened and he walked out. He looked so nice all dressed up, ready for work.
He stood before me looking snobbish. But before he could pass another verdict I stood up to face him.
“You were right dear. I was being unreasonable. I can’t condone your harshness though. However, I won’t argue further. I’ll send resign today via email. I’m sure they will understand and I will take care of myself. After all I’m excited too. I want this too.”
Fawad simply nodded and smiled. No apologies and no remorse. He planted a kiss on my cheek and told me how much he loved me. Then he turned around and left the house.
I thought to myself, “I have nine months ahead of me,” and I wasn’t talking about myself. It was my husband that I was worried about.